Maskless Los Angeles beach gathering got nearly 150 arrested
Authorities said nearly 150 people were arrested at the Huntington Beach Pier after thousands of unruly people gathered for a birthday party on the beach, sparked by a viral social media video. Police later called the gathering an illegal assembly and imposed an overnight curfew, authorities said.
According to Jennifer Carey, public affairs officer for the Huntington Beach Police Department, 121 of those arrested were adults and 28 were juveniles.
They were charged with arson, the use of dangerous and illegal fireworks, failure to disperse, and curfew violations, according to Carey.
She said several downtown businesses, police cars, and a lifeguard tower were damaged, but no serious injuries were reported.
Huntington Beach fire Battalion Chief Jeff Lopez told the Orange County Register that paramedics were also sent to the scene to respond to multiple medical calls, although he did not elaborate on the injuries or illnesses.
More than 150 officers from agencies across Orange County were sent to Huntington Beach in response to a pre-arranged call for assistance as the Saturday event increased in size and raucousness.
Both people in the area of Beach Boulevard to Goldenwest Street and Pacific Coast Highway to Yorktown Avenue were subject to a Huntington Beach police emergency curfew from 11:30 p.m. Saturday to 5:30 a.m. Sunday.
Officers used non-lethal weapons to disperse a crowd of more than 2,500 people who had gathered in response to a viral video posted on the social media page adrian.lopez517 on Wednesday with the caption “pop-out ‘n celebrate my bday.”
Crowds were seen dancing, taking videos, and setting off fireworks, according to footage posted on social media. Objects were hurled at police, people jumped on top of cars, and people celebrated on the street in downtown Huntington Beach, according to social media footage.
Visitors do not drink or use drugs on the beach, and there should be no fireworks, according to the department, which is “taking significant steps to prepare for the potential influx of visitors, including working closely with our regional public safety partners.” The HBPD will be strictly enforcing all relevant laws and ordinances over the weekend to that end.”
Approximately 1,000 people are said to have gathered at Tower 13.
There were “threats of an explosive device” in the city, according to Huntington Beach police and other agencies. There were no bomb threats, according to their investigation.